Welcome to the Chaos

You have stumbled upon the new blog (i.e. random babblings) of a quirky single mom. A shoot-from-the-hip, anti-pink (yet almost gaggingly perky), non-traditional, can cuss like a sailor but loves insanely and has the save the world syndrome gal who is bracing for a future as a Crazy Cat Lady though she secretly hopes like hell it doesn't come true. Enjoy your stay and feel free to say hi- I don't bite. Well, unless we're dating and you are into that type of thing or you contain peanut butter. >;-)

About Me

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Quirky single mom of two monkeys. I used to beat up the kids that picked on the "special students" during recess. Now I work with those with chronic mental illness. I speak quite a few languages, enjoy coed naked underwater basket weaving, have an addiction to Sushi and humor is my defense mechanism. Arrogant people make my right eye twitch. I'm ambidextrously brained, I will knit for tattoos, I am the friend that everyone comes to for advice and bail money. I pride myself on keeping my eyes, ears, heart and mind open. Making me laugh goes a long way with me, I think the brain is the sexiest organ and I'm the kinda gal you can take anywhere and I'll have a good time. Other than that, I'm just me.


One Day Elphaba Was Born (Pt.3)

Harold: So. you don't use the umbrella any more? No more revolts?

Maude: Oh yes. Every day...but... I don't need a defense any more, I embrace. Still fighting for the big issues but now in my small, individual way.

After my year term as president for SFAR, I stepped down. No more standing at the edge of a corn field on dark, damp nights with a half ass tv crew facing the owner of a dog farm, his friends and the damned Sheriff all glaring at us while toting shot guns. I will have to find the photo of his giant “stay off my land or alce” sign. Yup, alce.

I had to. Not long into my sophomore year of college, my year from hell began. From that point on, my umbrella was put to rest. The next few years were simply survival mode and healing. But, slowly, surely, my inner Maude returned. I too embraced embracing. Years, experience and some wisdom gained through those had shaped a different spirit of protest for me. No longer standing with a picket sign did not mean I turned a blind eye either. I never stopped voting, writing letters and signing petitions- using the voice, albeit more tempered and quiet, that I had. I strived to lead by example. Hoping it would be infectious. I also learned to choose my battles wisely.

It wasn’t until I left graphic & web design and went back into health care that my voice would once again return with some chutzpah. I have a fiery instinct to protect my residents. My first round back was at a company with all new construction and hoity toity lil old people for residents. So, my biggest battles typically were with hospitals that wanted to discharge them to nursing homes and doctors that didn’t follow through. There is, however, one priest that is not likely to forget me anytime soon.

One of the hardest things to do is to get a priest to come to a group home. Seriously. I’ve had Catholic residents whose entire parish was off on sabbatical and they were dying and no priest from another parish would come to visit them to administer the last rights (now called “anointing of the sick”.) I had a 92 year old lady move in from Racine ( a good 1/2 hour away from where the home was). She was Catholic, came from a nursing home and her priest had developed Alzheimer’s. She still wanted communion every month, so it was my mission to make that happen. Well, I struck out everywhere and finally just called the priest that came by already for another resident. What’s one more for communion? He was a crab on the phone, but agreed to see her and “see what he could do.” In he glides on his monthly visit and all the staff are warned not to let him leave without seeing the other lady. Sure enough, he tries to fly out of there and encounters me at the door. Smiling. I gently remind him of his promise. This jack ass then walks up to my lil 92 year old in the dining room and YELLS in her ear “ I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M SUPPOSED TO TALK TO YOU. YOU ARE NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY. CALL YOUR OWN PARISH.” Oh the seething. I turned and walked outside to the parking lot while he said goodbye. As soon as he walked out that door (all the staff’s faces now popped up pressed against the windows) I let him have it. Both guns blazing. “WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? You can NOT talk to my residents like that!” He didn’t even looked shocked. Just smug and pious. “She is not my responsibility. She is not part of my parish.” “Really? Well it’s a good thing Jesus didn’t operate on that theory now isn’t it? That is THE most unchristian thing I have ever heard.” His retort? “I don’t expect you to understand. You are just a commoner and most likely not even Catholic.” *deep breath* “I’m a recovering Catholic and they have the likes of people like you to thank for that. As far as the ‘commoner’ thing goes? Well, you weren’t born with some special mark on you that deemed you the chosen one, you pompous ass. ANYONE can take the vows you have. Clearly they were nothing more than some regurgitated words for you and hold no meaning. Even a “commoner” grasps the concept of the Golden Rule. If Jesus not only did not turn away lepers but embraced them, what gives YOU the right to turn anyone away? Let alone some sweet little 92 year old lady that has been a devout Catholic her entire life. So, go ahead and prance your self-righteous self back to your Mercedes and drive off out of here. But trust me- when it comes time for the God to whom you have supposedly vowed your life to judge you, He will knock that smile off your face.”

I called my mom when I got back in “Mom, it’s official. I am truly gong to hell. I just cussed a priest out in our parking lot.” My mom, bless her lil heart, “Well, that took longer to happen than we all thought and I’m sure he had it coming..”

Then I began running the “community based residential facility for those with chronic mental illness.” My first couple of weeks there I heard the phrase “ Oh ___ , you guys will take ANYONE.” At first I was offended. A long time case manager friend of mine came in surprised as hell to see me there one day. Just like the rest, she uttered “What the hell are you doing here? This place is a total hole and will take ANYONE.” And it hit me. Harder than Bobbie slapped Whitney around. “You’re damn right we will, J. You know why? EVERYONE deserves a home. Period. Yeah, it’s a bit of a hole right now, but I’m working on that. Someday we’ll be the Pfister for "crazy" people.” My crusade on behalf of those with severe chronic mental illness in Milwaukee then began.

The biggest thorn in my side? The VA. They HATE me there. I have gotten in more knock down, drag outs with them than I can honestly count. The reason? I have never seen a more gross negligence for the care for one’s patients EVER. And these are VETERANS. The very people that have laid their lives, and sanity, on the line for us. I have marched my happy ass down there and stood outside doctor’s doors waiting for them to sign off on a script renewal because it’s Friday and they have ignored my gentle fax reminders for two weeks letting them know their pharmacy will not dispense another supply of oh Depakote until the order is renewed. If it’s not signed that day, they don’t have Depakote for the weekend and the last thing that a person with schizoaffective disorder needs to do is go cold turkey off of that. They also insist on messing with the dispensing as well and that is a fight I have yet to win. The prescription will read “75mg of Zoloft, one tab, by mouth twice daily” Do they dispense 60 tabs of 75mg Zoloft? No, they dispense 30 tabs of 150mg and tell us to cut it in half. Not only does this not match the order, most of these medications they have us do this with are not to be cut PER MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS. They don’t care though, because it’s cheaper that way. And, well, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder doesn’t really exist. They’ll tell you so.

So, I found my voice again, using it boldly with my head held high, but only for small, individual “fights” if you will. No picket lines. No rallies. No mass assemblies. No newspapers. No half ass TV crews. No fields at night.

And then, one night, a tweet passed by my screen. It caused me pause. A desperate plea from what appeared to be an Iranian to hackers for assistance. It was @PersianKiwi and I knew there was a chance it was real. From what it was requesting, I knew what it was looking for and why it would be. (Sometimes the 2 years I dated a hardcore hacker comes in handy). As I clicked and read and clicked and read, the story unfolded. I began to research the Iranian election and the candidates that ran. That is all I could find. Nothing of this scandal that they were tweeting of. I then stumbled upon one Twitterer whose emotion was way too human for him to be bullshit. When my eyes could no longer focus, I went to bed.

My head swimming. My heart aching. My eyes wide open.

The decision was simple. I was picking up my umbrella again. That morning, Elphaba was born. My own little personal declaration of unity and support. Over the course of the next weeks I stayed glued and focused on what was going on. I am not ashamed to admit that I have sobbed, screamed and wished that I could do more to help these people that, yes, I don’t even know.

There have been many arguments thrown out there and at me:

“These are Iranians. They hate us, They are our enemies.”

“The change of power will do nothing to protect us from their nuclear program.”

“They made their own bed, let them lie in it.”

“How do we know it’s even real and not some propaganda to engage us in war.”

My retort is simple. Firstly, I respect the opinions of others. It would be hypocritical of me to not and I do understand where their points may come from. Mine is this:

Ghandi is the man in my book. We do need to be the change we wish to see in this world. Whether they are in Iran, China or Istanfreakinbul, they are people. Humans. Just like us. People have been a fascination of mine all my life. I have taken several different language not just for the language, but to understand the culture as well. These people standing (for the most part) silently declaring their desire for independence, for their vote to actually count, for their government to recognize they have given them a vote and need to uphold that are not the same “Iranians” that we have been shown via media for years. Propaganda and distortion of the facts by government and media works all ways. Could their nuclear program remain intact regardless of a change in regime? Possibly. But, I highly doubt it. One of their platforms for change is peace. Symbolized by the beautiful green ribbons bound around their peace fingers. Their eyes have been opened to the truth of the world, not what their government has force-fed them for years. They know. They don’t want to become another America, they don’t want to completely abandon their culture, their beliefs. Their requests are simple. Basic. They want to live peacefully with the rest of the world, they want more of a real say in their government, they want to live more humanely. And I wholeheartedly support them in all of that. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are basic human rights no matter what soil ones bare feet intertwine with. No matter what language they speak. No matter what God they pray to, or don’t pray to.

Perhaps I am odd, but, if someone walked up to me, told me they hated me (yes even if they stated they wished me dead), then was being beaten in the street two minutes later because they were simply walking down the street holding the hand of the person they love, I would stand next to them in saying it was wrong. That, dear friends, is just how Elphaba rolls.

And, for now, Elphaba isn’t going anywhere.


Beverly said...

You are my new hero! GIGANTIC HUGS, fellow warrior!


Tawanda (aka Bev Wolfe, former wimp)

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